(WASHINGTON, D.C.) In comments submitted to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) on the sodium reduction guidelines and food category targets due yesterday, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) recommended that categories be streamlined and the timeline to meet the short-term reduction goals be extended to at least four years.
“GMA and its member companies are committed to continuing efforts to provide consumers with plenty of choices and have been making strides in reformulating products to provide lower sodium options,” said Leon Bruner, GMA’s Chief Science Officer. “Our companies have made more than 30,000 product choices available to consumers between 2002 and 2013 with reduced sodium, calories, sugar and saturated fat, and increased amounts of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. This includes 6,500 products with lower sodium.”
In June, FDA issued proposed guidance on sodium targets for food categories and timelines for meeting those goals, and October 17 was the deadline for comments on the short-term targets.
In its comments, GMA proposed changes to the categories to account for differing functional roles of sodium. In addition, GMA said that extending the timeframe for implementation from two to at least four years will allow adequate time for reformulations as well as the time needed to transition consumers’ taste preferencesto accept reduced-sodium in products. GMA also recommends FDA assess the progress towards these short-term goals after five years.
Comments on the FDA’s guidance on the long-term sodium reduction targets are due December 2.
GMA’s comments can be found here.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is the trade organization representing the world’s leading food, beverage and consumer products companies and associated partners. The U.S. food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry has facilities in 30,000 communities, generates $1 trillion in sales annually, contributes $415 billion in added value to the economy every year and is the single largest U.S. manufacturing industry with 1.7 million manufacturing workers. Founded in 1908, GMA has a primary focus on product safety, science-based public policies and industry initiatives that seek to empower people with the tools and information they need to make informed choices and lead healthier lives.